It is an exciting day of action in the Europa League on Thursday as 24 matches are scheduled this week. This will be the second match for each of these teams, and there are a number of great matches on tap. Here is a look at some value picks for this week.
Lille Takes Out Celtic
At 2.01, we like the odds for Lille in this contest. Some sites are even coming in between 1.61 and 1.59, but they look to be the big winner here. Lille has won four of their last five contests overall and the host team has won six of the last eight matches between these teams.
The Celtic were beaten in their last contest, falling at home to AC Milan 3-1. Meanwhile, Lille pulled out a decisive victory over Sparta Prague, 4-1. Celtic has not won any of their last eight away games against French sides (0-5-3) and there is no doubt that run will continue. Look for Lille to dominate, 2-0. Check Lille - Celtic betting tips on ProTipster.
Take Arsenal and the Over
Arsenal enters this contest in a bit of a rut following back to back 1-0 losses to Manchester City and Leicester. They are definitely looking for a decisive victory to boost the team’s spirits, and Dundalk looks to be just what the doctor ordered.
Arsenal earned a 2-1 victory over Rapid Wien to begin play, while Dundalk lost to Molde, 2-1. This match will be held at the Emirates, where Arsenal has lost only two of their previous 14 matches. They have scored 10 goals in their last three group stage home matches, and this is where I focus my attention on this contest.
Arsenal is favored to win (1.03), and the total is set at 3.5. I do not look for Dundalk to have any chance in this contest as Arsenal will dominate, likely winning 4-0. This means if you are looking for a wager to get in on this contest then go for the over 3.5. Check Arsenal - Dundalk betting predictions on ProTipster.
Take the Draw Between Real Sociedad and Napoli
Both clubs looked solid in their opening matches, but Napoli suffered a heartfelt loss at home, 1-0 and is going to need a big showing here if they are going to remain competitive in Group F. Real Sociedad opened with a 1-0 victory over Rijeka as they, too, looked very impressive. The difference is that they earned the three points, giving them a leg up over Napoli in advancing to the next round.
Napoli has not looked particularly good defensively of late. They are having difficulty keeping a clean sheet in their last three contests. That looks to give Real Sociedad a big advantage, as they have scored 11 goals in their last four matches.
It would look like a clear-cut victory for Real, but that is not the way I see it. I expect Napoli to tighten up defensively, as each of these teams nets a goal in a 1-1 draw. Napoli is winless in their last eight matches against Spanish opponents, so let us make it nine in a row. Take the draw at 3.20. Find more betting predictions for Real Sociedad - Napoli here.
Rangers Win at Home
Rangers welcome Lech Poznan on Thursday. Rangers earned a 2-0 victory over Standard Liege in their opening match while Lech Poznan fell to Benfica, 4-2.
There is a lot going Rangers way. They have won 13 of their last 19 European matches and have lost only one of their last 19 home games in European competitions, going 13-1-5. Their one defeat came against Bayer Leverkusen, which came last season.
Lech Poznan has been a mess in away contests of late, going scoreless in three of their last four such matches. They opened with a tough loss already and are likely looking at a 0-2-0 beginning Group play.
The host team has won the last seven matches between these clubs, and the host club has scored at least two goals in each of those wins. That just adds to my confidence in a Rangers victory. Take Rangers (1.54) to win, 2-0. Check Rangers - Lech Poznan betting tips here.
Benfica Makes It 23 Straight Wins at Home
Benfica is on a roll at home, winning 22 straight matches in Europa League play. They will be looking for their 23rd straight on Thursday, and there is no reason to believe they will not reach that mark. Benfica comes in at 1.33 to win. They have won their last six contests, scoring 19 goals in that span. That includes a 4-2 victory over Lech Poznan to begin group play.
Standard Liege is struggling on the attack, recording just four shot attempts against Rangers in their 2-0 loss. No team had fewer shot attempts in the opening week of UEFA Europa League play. They did not record a single shot in the second half as the team faded after the break.
This has disaster written for Standard Liege, and this is what I expect. Take Benfica to win, 3-0.
Roma Narrowly Defeats CSKA Sofia
Roma opened with a 2-1 victory over Young Boys while CSKA Sofia fell to CFR Cluj, 2-0.
Roma has been getting excellent play out of Edin Dzeko, who has 11 goals and two assists for the club. He has helped to account for 13 of the teams last 15 goals in UEFA Europa League play. No doubt he will make an impact in this contest as well.
However, Roma has struggled on the backend. They have conceded goals in four of their last five contests and finished last season with only one clean sheet in their 15 matches. Changes were not made to help improve the backend for this team which should give Sofia a chance to get on the board in this contest.
Sofia has not earned victories in any of their last eight contests against Italian sides (0-6-2). I expect another loss for them here, as Roma (1.26) narrowly defeats them, 2-1.
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